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Centenarian, small in stature, cast long shadow

Wayne A. Billick, 100, a native of the Elizabeth Township area and a long-time resident of the Belle Vernon area, passed away peacefully from this earth Monday evening, July 15, 2013, to his new home following a brief illness from heart disease.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Wayne Billick lived his life serving the church, according to his son.

“He knew in his heart he was supposed to help people out,” said Dean Billick of Jacksonville. “The Lord instructs people to help and love others, and that's what he did.”

Wayne Billick of Rostraver died on Monday, July 15, 2013. He was 100.

A native of Elizabeth Township, Mr. Billick joined Round Hill Evangelical Presbyterian Church when he was 12. He served as president of the church's mission fund, worked on the food pantry outreach effort, held at-home Bible studies and participated in countless church activities. He was considered the longest-serving member in church history, his son said.

“I've never seen a more humble, selfless person,” he said.

Mr. Billick attended Elizabeth School District, skipping three grades and graduating first in his class. He studied physics and mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh when he was 16 but left college during the Great Depression to help his family with their farm, which led to his long career in agriculture.

He grew a wealth of vegetables, raised chickens, produced eggs and worked for Eastern States Farmers Exchange Store and Agway.

Even in his later years, Mr. Billick stayed active. He drove a car until he was 95.

In the last weeks of his life, Mr. Billick did his best to stay mobile, doing stretches so he could use a walker instead of a wheelchair.

“He wasn't breaking speed records, but he was walking all over the house,” Billick said.

Mr. Billick's other son, David, of Tarentum said he will remember his father's strength and compassion.

“He was a small man in terms of physical stature, but I always think of him as a giant of a man,” he said. “The influence he had on so many people across so many different walks of life … you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who had much bad at all to say about my father.”

Mr. Billick was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Lenora Billick.

In addition to his sons, he is survived by a daughter-in-law, Rachel; two daughters, Mary Anne and husband Gary Sansom, and Janice and husband Terry McGhee; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Visitors will be received from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in James C. Stump Funeral Home Inc., 580 Circle Drive, Rostraver. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Round Hill Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth Township, with interment to follow in Round Hill Cemetery.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media.

 

 

 
 


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